When you're on the Left, apologies are never necessary as you simply cannot be construed as racist. That's the sole province of the Right. Accordingly, you shut off any debate (by closing your comments) because there's nothing more to learn (since you were right in the first place)...
Daniel Pipes is something of a subscriber to what Rush Limbaugh calls "The Limbaugh Doctrine"--the idea that you can only achieve "peace" or "victory" in war after you have completely and utterly defeated your enemy:
Bernard Lewis spoke those memorable words to sum up the necessary goal of U.S. policy at a Hudson Institute conference two days ago. More fully, to quote a New York Sun news report, he said "the only real solution to defeating radical Islam is to bring freedom to the Middle East. Either ‘we free them or they destroy us'."
I have the highest regard for Bernard Lewis, a great Middle East historian from whom I have been learning since I entered the field in 1969. (The very first book I read in Middle East history, not surprisingly, was his Arabs in History.) But I disagree that our goal is to free the Muslim world...[my emphasis]
But I think the further point that he makes regarding what "complete victory" entails is absolutely indispensable to the argument about how to win the war on terror: It's not just a disarmed opponent with a "democratic government" thrown on top that we should be after; it is also the defeat of the ideology in the minds of those fighting us that we must seek in order to achieve true "victory." Otherwise, as Dr. Pipes points out, "freedom" just becomes an opportunity for the jihadist to prepare for future war. In this sense, I think the Left is somewhat correct when they say that we can't "impose" freedom.
Dr. Pipes adduces 2 very sound reasons for his position:
There are plenty of born-free Muslims in the West who are Islamists. Take, for example, the four 7/7 bombers in London. Freedom did nothing for them.
The goal in war has to be to defeat one's enemies, not liberate them. The invasion of Iraq, dubbed "Operation Iraqi Freedom," suffered from this mistake. The same applies to the war on radical Islam, where we must cause our enemies to feel a sense of defeat. We must crush their will. After that bitter phase has been experienced, they are then eligible for freedom.
So not only should we pursue a complete and utter military defeat of the enemy; we need to also press for an ideological victory in the mind and heart of the enemy.
For the Christian, that can only mean that in addition to the necessary physical war we're engaged in, we should at the same time ask God to cause the Gospel to be victorious in the hearts of those who hate us. That alone is true "peace."
A military jury today convicted a Navy chaplain of a misdemeanor count of disobeying his commanding officer for wearing his uniform while delivering a prayer "in Jesus' name" at an assembly in front of the White House.
"But I had prior written permission to wear my uniform if it was a religious observance, (so) prayers are not a religious observance," Lt. Gordon James Klingenschmitt told WND after the military court-martial recessed for the night.
"Therefore I disobeyed my commanding officer's order not to pray in uniform," he said.
Klingenschmitt, who raised immediate concerns with this superiors when the Navy issued a new order that prayers could only be "nonsectarian," also has alleged he was punished for raising those concerns, and later notifying Congress and President Bush of the situation.
I have to admit right up front that something about this chaplain and his situation doesn't sit right with me, but I'll have to save that for later. I sense something more was going on besides just trying to "pray in Jesus name." I'm going to leave it with a guess that it has more to do with him wearing his uniform at a "political" effort (which implies activity officially sanctioned by the Navy). But apart from this chaplain's issue, I DO think that there very much is a movement to muzzle chaplains in the name of being non-sectarian and have seen it firsthand myself.
I have seen over my tenure in the military reserve, an increasing tendency to limit distinctive expressions of a particular faith out of "respect" for all those present. For instance, I have heard complaints that at an individual's retiremen ceremony, some were "offended" because the chaplain who gave the benediction ended the prayer in Jesus name. This has occurred more than once, even at retirements where the retiree was a vocal Christian who WANTED a Christian chaplain to officiate. In another venue where I had a prepared speech in which I was going to use the term "Judeo-Christian heritage," a Lt Col objected to my wording with the comment, "Well what about the Budhist that may be present?" as if that negated mentioning the concept of a Judeo-Christian heritage.
The fact is, while military chaplains are required to answer the religious needs of all military personnel, they are drawn from a particular faith. That is, there are Baptist chaplains, Catholic chaplains, Jewish chaplains, and so on. When you ask them for their services, it stands to reason that they'll do so from the perspective of their particular tradition. This has traditionally been the case and it has only been recently that there seems to be some traction with the opposing view.
What is happening now is an increasingly vocal effort to make a "one-size-fits-all" chaplaincy that offers "religious services" from the viewpoint of a generalized, nondescript "religion" that has been shorn of any distinctives so as to avoid offending anyone. In short, a chaplaincy of no particular faith at all.
So why even have a chaplaincy? Why have benedictions, convocations and so on? Doesn't prayer offend some atheists? I suppose it's not such an odd thing to see an organization that claims to be offering a service to God stopping others from doing so. It's certainly old hat for Christians:
"But in order that it may spread no further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name." 18 So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus."
When Ronald Reagan ran for President against Jimmy Carter in 1980, one simple question was the focal point of his campaign:
Are you better off today than you were four years ago?
Five years after 9/11, Reagan's campaign question is a good template for the war on terror. On Monday, we should ask ourselves: Are we better off today than we were five years ago today?
The answer is no.
The only thing I would add is the reason why. Over and over and over again, we see the pernicious effects of supplanting the Judeo-Christian worldview with a secular, humanist one.
The secular humanist worldview dominant in the West encourages relativism, is unwilling--unable, actually--to provide a basis for determining right from wrong, truth from falsehood. Consequently, even when faced with so obvious an evil as modern day militant Islam, the West appears hapless, feckless, awkward and unsure even in so simple a task as naming the enemy, let alone fighting it.
This dangerous situation will not change until the West changes--back to the worldview based in the truth of the God of Scripture.
Dr. Sowell is a breath of fresh air and always on target. No more so than today, where he hits another one out of the park:
What kind of people provide a market for videotaped beheadings of innocent hostages? What kind of people would throw an old man in a wheelchair off a cruise liner into the sea, simply because he was Jewish? What kind of people would fly planes into buildings to vent their hate at the cost of their own lives?
These are the kinds of people we are talking about getting nuclear weapons. And what of ourselves?
Do we understand that the world will never be the same after hate-filled fanatics gain the ability to wipe whole American cities off the face of the earth? Do we still imagine that they can be bought off, as Israel was urged to buy them off with "land for peace" -- a peace that has proved to be wholly illusory?
Too bad the vast majority of conservative pundits are still repeating the mantra of denial: "But it's a religion of peace! There are 100s of millions of peace-loving Muslims!" Yes, Hugh Hewitt, there are millions that haven't done anything like what we read above, but when fully 1/4 of Muslims in Britain say that the London bombings of 7/7 were justified because of the War on Terror, I think you have to start rethinking your Nickelodeonesque, "We are the world" creedo.
Islamic terrorists perpetrate evil acts to achieve a better future for themselves and their coreligionists. Islamic terrorists perpetrate evil acts to remind themselves and their coreligionists of ancient glories or religious events. For Islamic terrorists, today is the conduit to remember yesterday and plan for tomorrow.
For Islamic terrorists it really is "back to the future."
Almost every act of terror carried out today by Islamic radicals, whether al Qaeda or Iranian-bred, is a variation on an earlier terror theme and is done to recall a previous memory or historical event. Little to almost nothing is original from planning stages to final stages, from making threats to carrying them out.